By the second quarter of 2019, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Liberia and Guinea will be accepting currencies from one another as part of the integration of the payment system of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ).
The Director General of the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), Dr. Ngozi E. Egbuna, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Bali, Indonesia, on the sideline of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Annual Meeting where she said if the system took off, individuals from these countries would be able to trade with their local currencies in each of the countries within the zone.
She said, “By second quarter 2019, it will go live; or even before then. Just like you have an ATM card to buy things locally, so also you are doing it with these countries. In 2016, we got funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to put payment system infrastructure in all our countries. The four countries that didn’t have are Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Gambia, and we used that fund to make all of them have that infrastructure. Now they all went live in 2016. So the Afriexim Bank is to link them together so that they can see themselves.
“We are also working closely with the ECOWAS Commission on the single currency agenda; on the 39 steps that they work out on the plan, we have one of them, that financial system integration. So we have been working hard to see that the banks, capital markets and insurance firms all are integrated.”
She added that the integration of the zone had gone far as the integration of the capital markets within the six countries had scaled the first and second levels of the integration which brought together the stock markets and the securities and exchange commissions, and that the third level, which is the integration, would soon follow.
Source: Daily Trust, Nigeria